Preparing your family to celebrate Christmas

Advent is the season leading up to the birth of Jesus.  It’s meant to be a time of preparation, as we get ready to celebrate Jesus’ coming to our world, and welcome Him again to our hearts.  There are a variety of advent traditions….lighting advent candles, advent calendars, Elf on the Shelf, and so on. Our family has taken a traditional advent calendar with little doors for each day in December and put candy and a Bible verse in each day. Each evening we take turns reading the Scripture verse and passing out the chocolates. This is a fun tradition that has developed over the years to include tossing the candy toward each family member and lots of giggles and many questions and contemplative thoughts as we prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Christ. I am a firm believer in having fun with kids as much as possible. We have fun with school work, fun with chores, and fun as we learn about Jesus. My encouragement to you is to develop a family advent tradition that balances truth and silliness!! Take a look at your current tradition. Is it really fun but not focused on Jesus? Keep the fun, add a focus on Christ. Is your current tradition focused on Jesus but not very fun? Add a little bit of fun as you prepare for the celebration of the birth of Christ.

Here are some sections of Scripture that would work great for a weekly devotional. Read through the Bible verses. Ask some questions to ensure understanding. Reflect on what it means to each family member.

1.      Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
2.      Matthew 1:18-24
3.      Luke 1:26-33
4.      Luke 2:1-14
5.      Matthew 2:1-12

Below are our daily verses for our advent calendar. Feel free to copy and past into a word document and use for your own traditions if you’re looking for ideas.

I’m so sorry I’m a week late on this post. December kind of snuck up on me! Please share your ideas for advent traditions in your family.

Isaiah 9:2, 6-7                                                                                                                                       December 1
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.



Luke 1:26-27                                                                                                                                        December 2

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.



Luke 1:28-29                                                                                                                                        December 3

28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.



Luke 1:30-33                                                                                                                                        December 4

30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”



Luke 1:34-37                                                                                                                                        December 5

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”



Luke 1:38                                                                                                                                                              December 6

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.





Matthew 1:18-19                                                                                                                                                December 7
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.



Matthew 1:20-21                                                                                                                                                December 8

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”



Matthew 1:22-23                                                                                                                                                December 9

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).



Matthew 1:24-25                                                                                                                                         December 10

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.



Luke 2:1-3                                                                                                                                                      December 11

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.



Luke 2:4-5                                                                                                                                                      December 12

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.



Luke 2:6-7                                                                                                                                                      December 13

6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.





Luke 2:8-9                                                                                                                                                      December 14

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.



Luke 2:10-12                                                                                                                                 December 15

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”



Luke 2:13-14                                                                                                                                 December 16

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”



Luke 2:15-16                                                                                                                                 December 17

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.



Luke 2:17-18                                                                                                                                 December 18

17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.



Luke 2:19-21                                                                                                                                 December 19

19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. 21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.



Matthew 2:1-2                                                                                                                             December 20
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”



Matthew 2:3-6                                                                                                                             December 21

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “ ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”



Matthew 2:7-8                                                                                                                             December 22

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”



Matthew 2:9-10                                                                                                                           December 23

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.



Matthew 2:11-12                                                                                                                                         December 24

11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.


About familydiscipleshippath

My husband, Tim, and I have been married for 17 years and have 3 great children. Our girls are 13 and 11 and the baby boy is 9. We have been living in Redding, CA and serving at Risen King Community Church since August, 2000. I serve as the Family Ministries Pastor. As a mom and a pastor, I represent both the church and the home and am on a journey of discovering and communicating practical ways the church and family can partner together to guide the young ones in our lives to know and love Jesus and live their lives(their whole lives) in light of that love.
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